Tuesday, September 8th, 2015 at 8:29pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
[Source: Nuju Metru]
We're getting close to wrapping up our Star Wars Buildable Figure reviews! Today we're going to look at 75112 General Grievous, the largest set in the line! BZPower Forum Assistant Nuju Metru has tackled this cyborg commander and is now ready to share his thoughts on the set with you. Will you run in terror from his whirling lightsabers or will you subject him to your command like the Sith lord you are? Read on to find out!
Hey guys, and welcome to the BZPower review of 75112 General Grievous, one of the new 2015 LEGO Star Wars constraction sets! As always, I'd like to thank both TLG for giving us at BZP free stuff and Andrew for passing some of it on to me. Read on to see my thoughts - captured for you in both a video and a text/image format - on this model. Is the set General(ly) good, or is buying it a Grievous mistake? Let's find out.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The box of the set is smaller than I expected, especially when compared to the finished model (spoiler alert for later in the review: Grievous is a LARGE set). But I find 75112's packaging to be pretty effective, even if it doesn't bring much new to the table. Unlike Star Wars products of the past few years, 75112 doesn't have a banner with artwork of a character (Darth Maul, Yoda, Kylo Ren, etc.) on top; it sticks instead to a simple white logo on a black fade. Bold.
Grievous himself, as here portrayed, has been posed dynamically, even if some of his arm angles are a little weird. I approve of the glowy/sparky Photoshop effects applied to the Lightsabers and that which they've torn up; it nicely reminisces the duel scene in Episode III. Speaking of which, a second, smaller, movie-picture Grievous (along with Obi-Wan and an audience of cheering Battle Droids) decorates the background. Maybe the 75112 Grievous is a visitor from an alternate universe where everything is made out of plastic bricks.
Along the bottom of the box are a shoutout to the fact that yes, these new figures use CCBS, as well as a Disney logo just to remind you who's in charge.
The back of the box is a bit bland in my opinion, albeit clean. Grievous, in a more neutral pose and outlined by a heavenly glow, stands in front of a circular blueprint/scanner background. Along the side is a callout to 75112's one play feature, the 4-to-2 arm convertibility. Below Grievous, smaller images of the other five figures of this constraction line appear in their own trapezoids. Up in the top corner, next to the logo, is a graphic telling us how tall Grievous is gonna be. Since the size figure is relayed in centimeters, my America brain doesn't process how LARGE it'll actually be.
And don't worry: in case, during the time it took to flip over this box, you forgot which company owns Star Wars, there's another Disney logo there. Whew. Close call there.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
A square instruction manual and a few unnumbered baggies tumble out of the opened box. They were shy, and at their request I've neglected to include their pictures in this review. Grievous himself also personally requested that I not show pictures of him naked, so there are no images of the build.
Instead, I'll tell you about it with my words!
Grievous was an entertaining build, because there were a few surprises. Part of the actual reason I don't show pictures of the build is because I want you to be surprised if/when you build him. The way the shape of the torso is achieved is fun, as is the growing realization that whoa, this is one LARGE set. The legs, in their complexity and Technic/CCBS blend, were enjoyable to assemble, even if repetitive. When you snap them onto the body, you realize how LARGE Grievous will actually be. Once the arms come on, and you see the wingspan, LARGE seems even LARGER.
(How many times do I say in this review how LARGE 75112 is? Post the answer the talkback and you could win a new LEGO Star Wars polybag! ...Not really. Unless Andrew decides to make that a thing. Make that a thing, Andrew?)
75112's build is long enough to offer more entertainment than a run-o-the-mill CCBS product, but not so long as to be belabored. In a snap (buh dum tssht), Grievous is completed, and you can examine his...
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
("...Set Design!" in case you don't read the titles of the review sections anymore, like I don't, and wondered about the above ellipsis' resolution. Just figured I'd help you out, there. And I'm sure you're getting sick of my parentheticals. I won't stop.)
Well, for starters, 75112 comes with some new molded parts and interesting recolors of existing elements. These are:
- New shin-guard parts, in gorgeous tan (4x)
- HF/Superhero/BIONICLE chest plates, in gorgeous tan (2x)
- Torso shells, in gorgeous tan (3x)
- 6L shells, in (believe it or not) gorgeous tan (3x)
- 6L shells with flair, in gorgeous gorgeous tan (3x)
- Technic panels, again, gorgeous tan, (4x; 2 of each side)
- BIONICLE Skull _____ ribcage, in immaculate gunmetal (1x)
- Lightsaber hilt halves, in flat silver (8x)
- Lightsaber blades, in trans-apple-green (2x)
- Lightsaber blades, in trans-light-blue (2x)
A note about the lightsaber blades: they're made of hard ABS at both connective and tip ends, but made of more flexible stuff in the middle. I don't know how TLG does this plastic blend but I'm very impressed with the seamless transition between them.
- Chest plate, printed with Grievous design, in tan (1x)
- Grievous head, in tan (1x)
Guess I should take a second to address these last two elements. I like the printing on the chest plate: it's accurate and detailed and symmetrical. It doesn't really bug me that Grievous' gut sack should be bigger.
As for the head: very pretty. Seems to be made of at least 2 separate pieces of plastic that've been perma-clicked together (see image of underside), to allow for the recessed eyes and whatnot. Speaking of those, they're printed perfectly with yellow irises and dark red wrinkle lines. The voicemaker thingie at the bottom of the face is printed in chrome silver. The sculpting of the mold all looks very nice and accurate to the character.
Well, enough waiting. Let's look at the real deal.
Voila! It's General Grievous! In LEGO! Again! But this time CCBS! And tan! And did I mention this guy is LARGE!?
I'll cut right to the chase: I think 75112 is a very attractive model. Not only is tan, its primary hue, an underused color on figures of this sort: it's also part of a clean color scheme which uses the black and grey of CCBS bones to its advantage. Traces of gunmetal in the abdomen and toes reassure us of the robotic nature of the character without upsetting anything. The Lightsaber blades give splashes of color interest to the model wherever they're posed.
In terms of hard design, something I really appreciate about 75112 is that this model uses unarmored bones as a design choice, which adheres perfectly to the appearance of the character. I don't mind exposed ball joints or axle-thin connections, because General Grievous looks, and is supposed to look, skeletal. The one place I wish there was more bulk is the back of the middle leg segments; if you look at them from the side, they do seem mighty frail and unfinished.
The tan shells are distributed evenly and logically on the body, making Grievous feel well armored and imposing in spite of his slimness. The way the knee armor is attached makes me very happy. The way the hunchback is achieved makes me very happy, too - and, in a twist of fate, Grievous emerges as one of the few sets in constraction history (right up there with Maxilos!) to have shoulder movement independent of his arms. The Technic connectors on the lower side of the upper arms, while important for arm conversion (more on that later), are a little bit of an eyesore, but I can forgive them for the sake of their function. The hands feel too small, too, but I can't think of an economical fix for them.
The taloned feet are large enough to easily balance the model, even on one foot (look for that later, too). The legs themselves are remarkably sturdy, with every joint using two ball-and-sockets for stability. This does pose a small issue, though, especially around the lower leg segment: Grievous sacrifices some poseability for balance. His ankles haven't got much flex to them, even though the hips and knees have ample range of motion. This can make finding dynamic poses in the lower body difficult. I don't mind this too much, though, since the upper body (with its four arms AND moving shoulders!) can easily assume a myriad of expressive poses.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
75112 is a joy to position, because the possibilities feel limitless. With four arms, the world is your oyster. Grievous holds his poses well, also; no part of his body is too heavy for its attachment points. I still have the completed model on my desk because it's such a lovely display piece.
The only real play feature of the model is the fact that the arms can go from 4 to 2 with just a few attachments and removals. I've demonstrated the transition in the photos above, and shown you a photo of Grievous with compressed arms, just to give you an idea what that looks like. I find that in this mode, Grievous loses arm poseability and his undersized hands look stranger; however I'm quite happy that the designer was able to implement this feature, seeing as it's such a trademark of the character.
Look how LARGE Grievous is! I would've posed 75112 with a constraction figure y'all know better (i.e. Tahu or something), but I didn't have any others built, so I turned to one of my MOCs. Sorry, not sorry. Try to scale Grievous in your mind based on parts on the MOC, like the Inika torso armor or the Piraka calves. Does that help?
It's LARGE. Just trust me on this one. Hard to appreciate until you hold the set yourself.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
Well, that sums up the in-depth review. Let's tally up the final score.
What's to like?
- Gorgeous, gorgeous tan all over the place
- New molds are pretty, character-accurate, and sometimes (literally) flexible
- LARGE set
- Sturdy as heck, and fun to pose (can stand on one leg!)
- Shoulders move
- Skeletal/"skimpy" armoring works in character's favor
- Looks like Grievous, feels like Grievous
- 4-to-2 function also feels like Grievous
- I think I'm falling in love with the gunmetal ribcage
What's not to like?
- That price point I mean come on Disney don't be greedy we get that you've monopolized all the things we're fans of you don't have to rub it in our faces
- Limited ankle flexibility
- Middle-legs are essentially just Technic beams
- Hands are small and look weird when arms collapsed
If you can bite the bullet on the price (you're paying about 19 cents a piece, which is almost double what I consider an appropriate parts-to-price ratio), I think 75112 is definitely a set worth picking up. It's an accurate, stable, beautiful-looking set with barely any design flaws. And it's LARGE. Basically I'd recommend this version of General Grievous to any Star Wars fan with disposable income.
"The force is strong with this one!"
Be sure to thank our friend Nuju Metru for compiling this informative review - with luck you found it insightful and entertaining. If you have any questions, just post them in the Talkback and we'll address them when we're able. We have one more set to review, and it's probably one of the most anticipated, so keep checking back for that and more LEGO news, here on BZPower!
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